New Jersey is taking necessary steps to a green future by adopting the 2018 Clean Energy Legislation, increasing their renewable energy portfolio standards for the next 30 years. The end goal of this legislation is for New Jersey to source 50% of its energy from renewable sources, and achieve 2,000 MW of energy storage by 2030 through strict guidelines for providers & incentives for consumers.
A short term goal of this legislation is to decrease ratepayers’ consumption of electricity and gas by 2% of the 3-year prior average; subsequently each year. Consequences of this could mean an increase in rates for consumers, but would balance out with the motivation to reduce their consumption. Utilities that fulfill these new standards will be rewarded, while those who do not will be penalized. Reduction of energy consumption during peak hours will be prioritized, and any additional costs incurred for implementing this standard can be recovered by the provider.
The legislation highlights that New Jersey’s solar renewable portfolio standard target for 2020 of 3.38% will be increased to 4.90%, most likely increasing rates for customers in the short run, but quickly working on ambitions. Furthermore, it establishes the ‘Community Solar Energy Pilot Program’, incentivizing New Jersey residents to invest in solar projects inside their energy providers’ territory. Doing so will entitle them to a credit back to their electrical bill amounting to the electricity generated by their contribution in the project.
In addition to this, power suppliers will need to source a larger percentage of their electricity from wind energy, which was previously based on supporting at least 1,100 MW of generation, increasing to 3,500 MW with the bill. To support this endeavor, the Economic Development Authority (EDA) will grant $100 Million in business tax credits for development of qualifying offshore wind energy projects.
Similar to Nevada’s increase in their Renewable Portfolio Standard & push for deregulation, New Jersey is also making strides to become a greener state, most likely precipitated by United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Agreement last year.